A year ago, the couple visited a one-bedroom co-op, with more than 1,300 square feet, in a former factory building on Barrow Street. The interior was dated. It had just one bathroom, with no way to add a second. The price was $1.395 million, with monthly maintenance of $2,725. But “what it lacked in bathroom, it made up for in other space,” Mr. Tomasetti said.
Still, they wavered. “I think we would have been fighting in the bathroom,” Mr. Heywood said. “My husband is not too patient in the morning.”
They summoned a contractor and were daunted by the renovations needed. The unit later sold for $1.25 million.
A ground-floor apartment at the Horatio Arms, with almost 900 beautifully redone square feet, was created from two studios combined and had two full bathrooms. “The bathrooms were completely renovated, like out of a spa magazine,” Mr. Heywood said. A second, private entrance to the sidewalk was ideal for the dogs.
And while the loft area had an especially low ceiling, “I was willing to duck,” Mr. Tomasetti said.
The price was over their budget, at $1.695 million, with maintenance of around $1,750. The couple offered $1.45 million, but the seller was unwilling to negotiate. The apartment was later taken off the market.
By now, Mr. Tomasetti was amenable to either two bedrooms and one bathroom, or one bedroom and two bathrooms. Mr. Heywood still felt a two-bathroom was essential. Otherwise, they would need a new morning routine, including a dog-walking schedule.
Then they visited a five-story elevator building on quaint Bedford Street. A one-bedroom unit there, around 825 square feet, comprised two studios plus some common hallway space. The price was $1.4 million, with maintenance of around $1,500.
One bathroom had a tub; the other had a stall shower and a stacked washer-dryer. There was also a beautiful wall of bookshelves, a working fireplace and four bright exposures.
“I could tell from the excitement in their voices that this was the spot,” Mr. Slosar said. “The block looks like a TV set.”
The couple bought their place for the asking price, and arrived in the winter. “It took us two years to end up two blocks from where we started,” Mr. Tomasetti said. Their elderly dog Zack died shortly after arriving; a tin on the fireplace mantel holds his ashes.
“We envisioned having a bigger place, but it is so cozy and well laid out that I don’t long for extra space,” Mr. Heywood said. “I love the charm, the quiet and the neighborhood.”
He would, however, like to have a doorman. “I am a very talkative guy and I miss the interaction,” he said.
Despite his job promoting New York City tourism, he didn’t realize a key tourist attraction was right at the corner: the apartment from the television series “Friends,” where the characters supposedly lived, which currently houses the Little Owl restaurant. Tourists gather there at all hours.
“Sometimes they sing the ‘Friends’ song,” Mr. Heywood said. “I know business is robust when I see all the visitors there.”